Dean's Story

Text size

YARDLEY, PA: Dean W. Harrison, Sr. died on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at his home in Yardley, Pa. He was 84 years old. Dean leaves his wife, Nancy Barrows Harrison, with whom he shared 59 years of marriage.

Dean was a man who excelled in all that he did. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy where he played football, hockey and captained the baseball team. A proud class of '54 graduate of Princeton University, Dean played varsity baseball, sang with the Nassoons, and was a member of Cottage Club. After serving our country while stationed in Germany in the Counter Intelligence Corps of the U.S. Army, he was awarded his law degree from Columbia University School of Law. Dean applied this education, experience, intelligence, and legal knowledge as general counsel at large corporations including State Street Bank, Bank of America, and Visa. He continued this economic service as Community Development Director in Gloucester during the administration of Mayor Bruce Tobey.

After retirement Dean served one term on the Gloucester City Council.

Dean was not all work, however. He played as hard as he worked, winning tennis competitions at Bass Rocks Golf Club, Essex County Club and other tennis tournaments. Dean was playing competitive doubles tennis until five months before his death.

And as he played, so also did he sing. A gifted tenor, Dean sang for the St. John’s Episcopal Church in Gloucester, the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Yardley, PA, and for the Annisquam Village Players. He was still actively singing and touring with the Nassoons alumni, the Princeton male a Capella group which holds annual alumni reunions to continue their joy of singing. Dean sang at home, at parties, and wherever the opportunity for a spontaneous song might arise.

Dean was unapologetic for the loyalty that he expressed for his family. In a word, to a person, they were “wonderful.” He was predeceased by his father Lester W. Harrison, a treasurer at the Cape Ann Savings Bank, and his mother, Hazel O. Harrison. Dean is survived by his wife, Nancy, whom he openly and joyously loved, by his son, Dean W. Harrison, Jr. of Pennington, N.J., daughter-in-law, Judith Lightfoot Clarke and beloved grandsons, Owen and Beckett Harrison. He is also survived by his brother, retired Gloucester District Court judge, David E. Harrison of Gloucester, his sister-in-law Michele Holovak Harrison and his adored nephew and niece, Michael and Lisa. Dean was predeceased by his daughter, Jennifer Harrison McNamara, who brought him joy every day of her life.

Memorial services will be held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Yardley, Pa. on March 3, 2016 and at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Gloucester, on April 9. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Music Fund of St. John's Episcopal, Gloucester.
Published on  February 25, 2016
Send flowers
in memory of Dean
See more

Obituary published in

Arrangements by


Share this story with a friend: